Hősök Tere, or Heroes’ Square, is a huge expanse aaaaaaaaall the way at the end of Andrássy Ut, just short of the beautiful City Park. Home to the three portions of Millennium Monument: an obelisk supporting a menacing Archangel Gabriel with the Seven Chieftains at his feet and two arched colonnades of various state figures. Very grand, very symbolic, clearly meant to impress.
I’m not a fan of either very big squares or very tall monuments. (Maybe a side effect of my thesis, as it’s both about big squares and tall monuments?) Whether or not it’s because I smell squashed revolution, something about physically concrete, monumental shows of the national ego irk me, no matter what the nation. But because I was lucky enough to be in Heroes’ Square during an incredible time of day — just as rain clouds were clearing away and letting sunlight through — I have beautiful photographs to share. And my crinkled nose aside, this place is undeniably beautiful and well worth a walk to the end of Andrássy.
The square has been host to a few great events and oddities over the years, including the mass gathering before Imre Nagy’s reburial, a symbolic dismissal of Habsburg rulers from one of the colonnades, an ego trip of Michael Jackson’s, and a few Soviet hissy fits.
If you decide to visit, stay a bit longer for a few neighboring sites: the Museum of Fine Arts (pretty good), the Palace of Art (hit or miss — they had absolutely nothing on display when I visited), City Park (refreshingly green escape from Pest), Vajdahunyad Castle (surprisingly pretty result of architectural incest), and the statue of Anonymous (if you require luck in writing).